Hi there, how are you holding up?
Hopefully you read my 3 tips I sent yesterday and turned off your computer as soon as you finished working. Thank you to those who sent me ideas for tips, I LOVE THEM and will address them soon. if you want to share more or ask me questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I started WFH 10 years ago we did not have nearly the same technology resources as we do now, and I don't know if that's good or bad. Having options is great, but when you have to manage voice calls, video calls, whatsup, text messages, emails, Instagram DMs, Facebook chats, Slack, Microsoft Teams, omg - it's mind numbing. 😨 So first, we need to get our schedules organized in order to know when to listen to that audio message, when to push that decline button on our phones, or when to not immediately respond to a text message (yes, that's possible). I know these aren't normal times, but maybe having a schedule can give us a feeling of some control over our lives, when everything else seems out of out control and hopefully you can also use the tips below for when things go back to a new normal.
Here are 3 additional ones that may help with scheduling, managing your calls, and staying sane. File them under WFH 101 - Part 2:
Tip #4. I Put everything and the kitchen sink on the same calendar. Everything. Want to take that online yoga class at 8am? Add to calendar. Want to walk the dog at 6pm? Add to calendar. Need to do remote learning with your kid at 10am? Add to... OK you get the idea. Why? Because when Tim, your eager co-worker, wants to have a 2 hours long video call at 6:15pm, you can say: "Dear Tim, unfortunately I am not available at that time". Believe me when I say: the calendar is your friend.
Tip #4.a. Calendar for parents for when things go back to normal: I have ALL my kids activities on my work calendar. School photo event (they'll thank me later for not letting them dress themselves that day), after school programs (because that would be the day I could leave earlier and went to pick them up at the wrong time), Spring break dates (which is now the same as remote learning dates, but whatever), and so on. If I have a break during the day and can pick them up, for example, I can plan my day around it including incoming call requests. Even though I haven't had a lot of days like that, this at least gives me a great sense of peace knowing where everyone will be, and that I am not forgetting anything crucial like their birthdays (just kidding - sort of 😬)
Tip #5. Scheduling calls & meetings: unless you want to look like the cat above (it's an actual footage of me before I learned to schedule my meetings), or stay hangry for hours, I do not recommend back to back calls. I beg you not to do it. Your boss/co-workers/clients will eventually be late, and chances are the first call of the day will derail all the other 8 you have scheduled, and you will spend a good part of your morning rescheduling them and pulling your hair out... or annoying the hell out of your assistant if you have one. So give 30 minutes between calls. If all goes well and nobody is late (says no one, ever), you can grab a snack ( if you read my last email, said snack will not be at your desk), and catch a bathroom break here and there if you are lucky... 🤞
Tip #6. We are all inside now, but even on a good day, if you are glued to your computer, chances are you do not move enough. If you don't have a Zoom video call with your other 36 co-workers and you are - gasp - actually speaking on the phone - try to walk around while you talk. That may help you think more clearly, and it's extra bonus for your co-workers or employees that will not have to hear you rambling too much. Use every excuse to move - get water, go to the bathroom, get up from the desk. You may not reach 10,000 steps, but it's better than nothing. I also recommend a smart desk, which is a normal desk that can get taller and become a standing desk (I have THIS ONE) or a treadmill desk - although I don't know how people can do any (good) computer work on those things?? If you do, please email me, I'm interested.
Now, let's talk about having the kids around with (or without) remote learning... I feel your pain but I am afraid I can't help you. Maybe use Tip #4.a with remote learning, but I don't know what the hell I am doing either. What I do know is that some things will have to fall through the cracks. Maybe there will be more screen time. Maybe there will be more food bribing. Maybe remote learning will have to be put on hold for the day because you don't have the energy to help with that insane math problem. We can't do everything. So maybe drinking will have to start before 5 pm... oh well, do what you got to do, just don't tell your boss. 🍷
Good luck, Matriarks - I will be sending more dispatches from home in the next few days for more advance WFH tips. If you want to look at some WFH items, click HERE. 😊
Be well and remember to turn that computer off (and maybe visit us on Instagram after that). We will get trough this.